Saturday, November 17, 2012

Don't Define Me

I believe consenting adults should be able to marry the man or woman of their choosing.

I believe that your religion is your own choice and shouldn't be restricted, but it is not yours to force on anyone else.

I believe that welfare is an important safety net for all people that shouldn't be a permanent fixture in your life, but should be available for an adequate enough time to get your life back on track if necessary.

I believe that government is a vital and necessary piece of my life, and that our politicians should work so that it serves us in the most efficient and least intrusive way possible while maintaining protections on all Americans.

I believe business is important, but should be held accountable through smart regulations that keep it from damaging the environment, hurting its customers, or the public through illegal, negligent, or unethical behavior. 

I believe that birth control is a personal choice and should be readily available. 

I believe that abortion should be the choice of last resort, but that the choice is a personal one and removing it is dangerous and wrong.  

I believe that church and state should be separate, not as an attack on a religion, but to preserve everyone's freedom to worship or not to worship.  

I believe that providing a complete and rigorous public education where kids are exposed to new ideas and critical thinking skills is vital for the continued success and innovation in America.

I believe that those who work hard should be rewarded for and enjoy their success, and that asking them to pay a little more than those who are just getting by or are on their way to wealth is not socialism, but simply an equitable way of sharing the burden of running government services.

I believe that our Constitution is a vital document that represents our freedoms and was written with the foresight to allow flexibility as times have changed while maintaining protections on those freedoms.  

I believe that there are people in this world who are experts and their opinion on the subjects they are experts in should be valued more than those who are simply "skeptics". 

I believe that while there may be two or more sides to every story, not every opinion or statement carries equal weight when assessing them.

I know that climate change and evolution are not "beliefs" but rather good science based on extensive study by experts.   I believe that if you continue to embrace a contrarian viewpoint without any understanding of science, data, or facts, then you are simply an idiot.

I believe that illegal immigration can a problem, but also reflective of the fact that there are many jobs that people are unwilling to do in this country.  Many immigrants work hard, are law abiding, and add to our economy and our tax base.   There should be a path for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship and become legal and productive members of our society.  

I believe that access to affordable healthcare should be a concern to everyone and impacts people of every political stripe.  Obamacare is an imperfect solution, but I believe that building a better solution from it is what politicians should be working toward, not simply repealing it.

I believe that fraud or inefficiency in government isn't a sign that government is bad, but that those things should be dealt with and improved.

I don't believe that any of these beliefs makes me a radical, godless, socialist, communist, handout loving liberal wacko.  

Instead, I think I'm a moderate, a person who believes that one way of thinking shouldn't define anyone, and that discussion and searching for the best solutions to each problem should be how our government operates.    I don't think this defines me as a liberal, or a conservative, but rather a moderate, who believes that no one way necessarily defines what is correct.  

I don't think that the results of the election reflect the victory of liberals, but rather the victory of people who are tired of extreme beliefs and angry rhetoric defining our government.   There is still much work to be done, but I honestly think moderates won on November 6th.   And I'm happy to be one of them. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Revenge of the Animal House Voting Nerds Stand And Deliver At The Caddyshack

Yesterday was a good day, one which had me feeling happy in much the same way as the election of 2008 made me happy, but strangely, even more so.

In thinking about why, I realized that the entire night played out like some sort of election themed classic comedy from the 70s or 80s in which a group of seeming misfits triumphed against a bunch of blowhards who had all the breaks and were hellbent on keeping others down.    

In this case, the misfits were the disenfranchised, the historically put upon, the disgruntled, and the mocked, such as: 
  • The moderate who was tired of the lies of the right and the politics of hate
  • The liberal who was tired of feeling that they should be ashamed of being pro-choice, for gay marriage, and for a social safety net. 
  • The females who were sick of crimes like rape being used as a political football and their own reproductive decisions being made by men stuck in another century.  
  • The GBLT community that's tired of being treated like they're diseased individuals with no right to love, be happy, or be themselves.  
  • Minorities and immigrants who are sick of being looked at as freeloaders and invaders taking jobs, when they're actually job creators and an increasing part of the middle class.  
  • Smart people who are tired of being mocked for believing an education, thinking, science, and integrity in information are important.
  • Young people, tired of seeing a power structure that doesn't reflect them or their beliefs.   
  • The Republican who is tired of seeing his or her party moved further away from responsible government to a weird hybrid of religion and the belief that all government is bad.   
  • The non-Christian religious and those without religion who have seen their personal views attacked as unpatriotic and suspicious.   
These were the groups that came out in force that helped make Nate Silver's mocked prediction come true.   These were the people who, in the words that so many Republicans love to use, "took their country back."

Watching the election results on TV and following Twitter on Tuesday night, it was clear that what we saw was a rejection of the far right narrative that has been carefully built over time by the Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Fox News, and others.  Watching this narrative unravel with such completeness Tuesday night felt even more historic and "good" than Obama's win four years prior.     Seeing politician after politician who "misspoke" about rape getting rejected by the electorate was a reason to smile.    Seeing a defeated Fox News and a babbling Karl Rove looking like a deflated gas bag was like watching Delta House trash the parade or Ty Webb and Danny Noonan win the golf game in Caddyshack.     The likable underdogs won.  It felt great and made us laugh at the same time.

Here's hoping for many sequels.     

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why Last Night Made Me Giddy

Obama won. 

Romney lost.   

John Yarmuth won.

Karl Rove publicly humiliated himself to the point where even Fox News basically told him to shut up.

Donald Trump's increasingly unhinged remarks reached such a fevered pitch that in seven days he completely destroyed himself.   Watching him tweet that Obama potentially winning the electoral race but not the popular vote was cause for a "revolution" and his complaints that we weren't a democracy showed he had less grasp on the US, its government, and its history than a sixth grade civics student.   

Several Congressional candidates that made truly offensive remarks regarding violence against women were defeated, even in races they were expected to win.  

Rush Limbaugh's offensive attacks on women finally led to a public backlash that neutered his voice.   

A pollster with a SCIENTIFIC approach to calling the race last night was dead on, proving that political pundits and "experts" are basically paid to offer no insight.  

Gay marriage passed in several state initiatives.   Actually, I'm not happy with this one because it now increases my odds of being invited to a wedding.    Note to gay friends and family: elope.    

Medical marijuana laws passed in more states.   Never smoked it and never plan to,  but this can only help my stock in Frito Lay.  

Facebook friends who hated the President with a passion and fury are now...... oh well, I shouldn't gloat.